Skip to comments.Corpsmen do whatever it takes (Marines)
Posted on 11/10/2005 3:28:06 PM PST by SandRat
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Nov. 10, 2005) -- While sitting down for lunch in the chow hall here Nov. 3, corpsmen assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 8 Base Aid Station recognized Marines they treated in past combat situations. One corpsman pointed out an everyday Marine in line for chow who he had treated.
Ive already taken care of three guys on three different convoys where an improvised explosive device exploded, said Seaman Apprentice Versean Taylor, a corpsman assigned to CLB-8 BAS, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (FWD). I love taking care of my Marines; they take care of me and I take care of them. Some of them are like brothers.
Several of the corpsmen had similar stories like Taylors. They were attached to a patrol or convoy, and provided immediate care to injured Marines in combat situations. These events took place in the first month of the corpsmens deployment alone.
Navy corpsmen have a massive responsibility resting on their shoulders, especially in a combat environment. Most of the corpsmen operating with the CLB-8 BAS are in their early 20s; yet, they are responsible for frequently treating injured Marines, sometimes seriously wounded, in combat operations. The units motto is whatever it takes, and the corpsmen assigned with the BAS live by that statement.
The corpsmen specifically provide convoy medical coverage, and sick call support, said Petty Officer 1st Class Corrina O. Gardner, senior medical department representative, BAS, CLB-8, 2nd FSSG (FWD). We go where the bulk of [CLB-8 Marines] go, and we keep them healthy.
Gardner said the BAS provides morning sick-call on a daily basis, and is open around the clock for acute care.
We are an echelon one medical facility, said Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen M. Ito, independent duty corpsman, BAS, CLB-8, 2nd MLG (FWD).
Ito said the BAS on camp is capable of administering immunizations and responding to minor injuries and illnesses. If the injury or illness is critical, the patient is usually taken to the closest echelon two or higher facility. Patients are transported by ambulances piloted by Marines who are assigned to the BAS.
In addition to convoys, morning sick-call and immunizations, the corpsmen conduct training on a daily basis.
I learn a lot; I never stop learning, said Seaman Vichien Mixay, corpsman, BAS, CLB-8, 2nd MLG (FWD).
Ito said the corpsmen are working to earn the Fleet Marine Force pin, a qualification that marks the crest of some Navy corpsmens careers.
The corpsmen said they believe their efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom are making a difference.
A definite benefit would be being able to treat the Marines, said Gardner.
Gardner said another rewarding part of the job is when Marines visit the BAS and express gratitude to the corpsman for their efforts.
The corpsmen also face many challenges while on the job here.
Gardner said the fear of the unknown can be a challenge the corpsman must cope with while outside the wire.
The tough part about the job is going out on the convoys, and not always knowing what is going to happen, she said.
The leadership element of the BAS ensures the junior corpsmen are trained up on medical procedures, making the team more confident and prepared for what ever it takes to save a life.
Our unit doesnt say the word no, said Gardner. Whatever it takes to get [care] to [Marines] or provide it for them, thats what we do.
Marine Combat Medical Care
I will always buy a beer for a combat medic or corpsman. Next would be the combat engineers and Seabees. They impressed the heck out of me 37 years ago.
"I will always buy a beer for a combat medic or corpsman."
I wasn't in combat but I was a corpman with the Marines. Will you buy me a root beer?? ;)
Happy Birthday, USMC!!!
Something I've always been curious about...why do the Marines not have their own medics? How come they use Navy corpsmen, is it because all Marines are considered riflemen and they can't spare the hands for their own medics?
Lest we forget one of the "Marines" who helped raise the flag at Iwo Jima was actually a Navy corpsmen--John Bradley. As recounted in "Flags of Our Fathers" (written by Bradley's son), the elder Bradley won the Navy Cross on Iwo, for using his body to shield a wounded Marine. His family didn't learn of his courage--or the medal--until after John Bradley died in 1994.
Something I've always been curious about...why do the Marines not have their own medics?
Good evening and the very best to you and yours.
In only 5 months of combat my little 11 man unit lost 2 Corpsmen. Those two and the final replacement were some of the finest men I have ever known. God bless you Doc.
For that answer you'll have to ask the Marine's
might also want to add chopper pilots to that list.
My Oldest son is a Navy Corpsman who just rotated back from Fallujah 3 weeks ago. As a Dad I worry about him but as a Dad I am so proud of the great work he is doing.
I talked with some of those "crazy Marines" everytime he called home. They are all Fine young Men and I am VERY VERY proud of all of them.
I pray to God that they all remain safe and sound. Ricky hopefully will get home for Thanksgiving, and if he brings those Marines home with him, they are ALL welcome.
Thanks for posting this article.
My Father (God rest his soul) was a Navy corpsmen in WWII. He made the D-Day landing multiple times to retrieve injured soldiers. He also served at Iwo Jima and throughout the pacific. He was an American hero and today I honor his memory.
All these years I always thought the Navy was a department of the Marine Corps!
Thanks for the ping!
>>>The Marines are the ground combat arm of the Navy as much as many dont want to admit being Navy.<<<
Did you know the current chairman of the JCOS, General Peter Pace, is a Marine? He is the first Marine to hold the position of Chairman.
While scanning the Navy Times medal section back during the Vietnam days, I read about a Navy Corpsman who threw his body on top of the grenade to protect the Marines from the blast. The grenade did not explode. The Corpsman was awarded the Medal of Honor. I found the following on the web that might be referring to him. The story seems familiar to me.
BALLARD, DONALD E.
Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman Second Class, U.S. Navy, Company M, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 16 May 1968. Entered service at: Kansas City, Mo. Born: 5 December 1945, Kansas City, Mo. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HC2c. with Company M, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces. During the afternoon hours, Company M was moving to join the remainder of the 3d Battalion in Quang Tri Province. After treating and evacuating 2 heat casualties, HC2c. Ballard was returning to his platoon from the evacuation landing zone when the company was ambushed by a North Vietnamese Army unit employing automatic weapons and mortars, and sustained numerous casualties. Observing a wounded marine, HC2c. Ballard unhesitatingly moved across the fire swept terrain to the injured man and swiftly rendered medical assistance to his comrade. HC2c. Ballard then directed 4 marines to carry the casualty to a position of relative safety. As the 4 men prepared to move the wounded marine, an enemy soldier suddenly left his concealed position and, after hurling a hand grenade which landed near the casualty, commenced firing upon the small group of men. Instantly shouting a warning to the marines, HC2c. Ballard fearlessly threw himself upon the lethal explosive device to protect his comrades from the deadly blast. When the grenade failed to detonate, he calmly arose from his dangerous position and resolutely continued his determined efforts in treating other marine casualties. HC2c. Ballard's heroic actions and selfless concern for the welfare of his companions served to inspire all who observed him and prevented possible injury or death to his fellow marines. His courage, daring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
We are part of the Department of the Navy.
We are part of the Department of the Navy.
The grenade was afraid to explode.
Yep. It's about time.